Stanford would be the first Pacific Ten Conference team that I would see play in Madison. This battle of identical team colors resulted in any Stanford fans blending into the crowd. I looked at this game like a mini Rose Bowl with the Pac-10 and Big-10 clashing. The weather offered up another sticky, sweaty, September Saturday afternoon.
Wisconsin fans hoped to see an improvement from last week’s lack luster Eastern Michigan game. Defense continued to impress. But, the offense was not on target. The 14-0 final score was evidence of these truths. Running back Ron Dayne did not necessarily have a heroing day. Despite the usual excitement that Camp Randall Stadium provides, the game practically had “blah” written on the program.
But, what I clearly remember from this game was watching Tyrone Willingham, head coach of Stanford, rigidly walk the sidelines. Knowing now his success at Stanford, his stint at Notre Dame and now at Washington, my memory of him gains greater value. One other memory that sticks is the disappointment that Stanford’s dancing tree mascot did not make the trip. As a whole, it was a stale Stanford team that I saw that day. If it wasn’t for the well-known “S” on their helmet, it really could have been any other red and white team getting beat by the Badgers. Knowing what a traditional college football team Stanford is, I hoped to see them again in an environment where I could get a true taste of their program.